Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have my own vet spay/neuter the pet I adopt?

Spaying and neutering is the single most immediate and direct thing we can do to reduce the number of unwanted and homeless pets that we care for, so you'll understand that we make absolutely sure that all our animals are spayed or neutered before leaving for their new homes. Even if the pet you fall in love with isn't fixed when you meet it at the shelter, we'll arrange for it to have its surgery before you take it home.

Why is there an adoption fee?

All the pets here at Bangor Humane Society are given their starter vaccinations and treatments to protect them and all the other animals in our care from contagious diseases. They all also get a de-wormer, flea, mite and tick treatment and any medical or grooming care they need before being adopted.

As you'll see when you visit, we operate a large facility in order to provide the animals with a safe, healthy (mentally and physically) and happy place to stay while they're waiting for a new family.

We do all of this to give the pets the best care, but it comes with a cost. Our adoption fees cover only a small percent of our annual operating costs and when you compare the cost of adopting a pet from us with the cost of paying for all the treatments a 'free to good home' pet needs, you'll find that adoption from BHS is actually a bargain! Of course, the feeling you get from giving an unwanted or homeless pet a new life is priceless!

I was trying to decide between two animals and the one I chose isn't working out. What can I do?

Making the right match between a person and their pet is not an exact science but we try our best to make sure that pets aren't adopted into home after home on a 'trial basis'. However, we do understand that things don't always work out and are very happy to discuss the situation with you. Give us a call and we'll see how we might be able to help.

I'm interested in adopting the dog or cat I saw in the newspaper...

 ...on TV, heard about on the radio, or saw on your web site. If I call and pay a deposit will you hold it for me?

Completion of a pre-adoption survey is neccessary. They are available at the shelter and can be emailed or faxed to your location. If you have a clear idea of the pet you're looking for you can also fill out an "In Search Of" form and send it with your pre-adoption survey. Then, when an animal comes in that seems to be a good match, we will contact you to arrange a visit.

For a non-refundable deposit of $35, we will hold a pet until 5:30 p.m. the next business day for you. If you have not yet filled our a pre-adoption survey you will be asked to first do so.

Do you have pets other than cats and dogs available for adoption?

We often have other small companion animals such as rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, ferrets, guinea pigs, parakeets, doves and cockatiels available for adoption. We do not offer exotic animals.

If my pet is found and brought to the shelter, how do I reclaim it?

These are our favorite moments: when a lost pet is reunited with their owner! However, there are rules set by the State of Maine and local municipalities that we have to follow so please make sure to come in person with photo identification, funds to pay the town's impound fee, and the boarding fee for each day the animal was here ($15 per day). Also required is proof of ownership (photos, license info, or vet records) and the license number for the animal.

Please call us before coming in if you have any questions, and we'll be able to tell you the total cost of reclaiming your pet.

Are all stray animals in this region brought to the Bangor Humane Society?

All municipalities are required by State law to contract with an animal shelter to house stray pets. The City of Bangor and over 30 towns in this region have contracted with the Bangor Humane Society.

We are unable to take in stray pets from towns that contract with a different shelter; if your animal is lost please check here to see where stray/lost animals from your town go.

I lost my animal. How do I know if you have it?

When a stray comes in we check for tags and/or microchip identification; if the animal has a rabies tag we call the vet; if it has a license tag we call the Town or City and try to locate the owner; if it has a microchip, we use that information to contact the owner. If your pet has no form of identification, you can fill out a Lost Animal Report (over the phone or in person at the shelter) and we will watch in case it is brought in to us.

What if no one reclaims a stray animal?

In accordance to the laws of the State of Maine, we hold stray dogs for 7 business days and stray cats for 2 business days. If an owner does not arrive to reclaim their animal during that time, the next step is to evaluate the animal for temperament and health before being placed for adoption. There is no time limit on how long a healthy adoptable pet can stay with us and some have stayed more than six months before they found just the right home.

How much do you charge to take in an animal?

There is no fee to give up your unwanted pet, but we do ask for a $25 donation to cover costs such as vaccinations, food, toys, treats and other medical care.

Do you take in animals other than cats, kittens, dogs and puppies?

We are unable to care for wildlife and exotic animals. We do accept small companion animals such as rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, ferrets, guinea pigs, parakeets, doves and cockatiels.

What should I do if I see a stray around my house?

First, please don't assume it is a stray. Many outdoor pets, particularly cats, will wander and if you feed them they'll stick around. Observe it for a collar or identification, wounds, or illness. If a cat is on your property and there is no known owner, we would happily accept it. If any animal appears to be in danger or in distress, consider the situation and act appropriately. The Bangor Humane Society does accept any stray animal from contracting towns.

If you have any questions or require assistance, call your Town Office or City Hall and ask for the Animal Control Officer (ACO).

Will you accept declawed cats?


Will you accept feral cats?

We are able to take in feral cats. We currently offer a Barn Buddies program that aims to place feral cats in barn type environments. We spay/neuter, microchip, and notch ears (the universal sign of a spayed/neutered cat that is part of a feral colony) and then adopt them out into experienced homes. However, there are times when we have more feral cats waiting for homes than we have people waiting for a Barn Buddy. During these times, we may have to turn away the surrender of a feral cat. There are other programs in place to help with feral cats, and we would be happy to help you find one if we cannot take the cat in. If you are bringing in a feral cat we ask that you call before coming in to confirm that we have space within our Barn Buddies program.

Can I bring my pet to BHS to be euthanized?

If you have made the heart-wrenching decision that your pet must be put to sleep, your veterinarian is the very best person to do it. We do not offer this service to the public.

Can I bring my pet to BHS to be cremated after it has died?

Yes, we can cremate your pet but are not able to return the ashes to you. The fee is $35.

What is your euthanization policy?

The Bangor Humane Society does not euthanize healthy, adoptable animals; animals are not put to sleep for time limitations or space restrictions. Our goal is to place as many safe, healthy pets into loving homes as possible. Please call the shelter if you have any questions regarding this policy.